"Välsignad vare illusionen" : Normer och ideal i Karin Boyes Astarte
In this essay I analyze Karin Boye’s first novel, Astarte, focusing on her views concerning norms,ideals and female liberation. The novel is written in a tone of irony, allowing for many of thecharacters to be viewed as caricatures. The theories and methods I use are drawn from genderstudies and queer theory. Queer theorist Judith Butler, and the concepts of performativity, interpellation, genealogy and the heterosexual matrix, are of central importance for my analysis. I look at the hetero normative values, that Boye ironizes, which are sustained by performative processes. The normative and idealizing proceedings described by Boye are, in my opinion, such performative processes. I examine how Boye illustrates the creation of norms and ideals, their influence and how they spread. Boye lays much of the responsibility for the idealization and normativity on the consciousness industry. I consider the novel to be a form of gender parody, challenging the notion that gender is something that can be defined by certain characteristics. Butler is of the opinion that gender parodies expose the primordial identity that gender imitates as being in itself an imitation without origin.
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